Nice question

May 1st, 2003, 06:41 AM
  #1  
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Nice question

I am flying into Nice in August, and will be picking up a car for a trip to the St. Tropez area. I thought it might be nice to spend a day or two in Nice. Would it make sense to not pick up the car right away and go into Nice from the airport by public transportation or taxi to a hotel, and then when we are ready to leave , to go back to the airport for the car? Or..get the car right away. I guess what I am asking is does one need a car in Nice, and is the airport far away? and...which way works out cheaper?

Also, does anyone have a recommendation for a hotel ( with air conditioning) in Nice? (under 100 Euros?)
Thanks.
sirod is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 08:12 AM
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Hotel Suisse, at the east end of the Promenade des Anglais, might have some rooms in your budget, but it will be a squeeze. As for a car, I have always driven into Nice, but I have not used a car to get around. The bus system is pretty good. Parking around Nice is the pits, so if you can wait until you leave to get your car, it's probably better to do so. Walking around the central part of town and along the waterfront is very easy. Good luck.
Wayne is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 08:29 AM
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i think that it's so much easier to walk and take public transportation. We were in Nice for 4 days and had no need for a car.
 
May 1st, 2003, 09:13 AM
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As long as you're going to spend your time in Nice itself, you won't need a car. I'd recommend that you wait until you depart for St.Tropez to pick up your car at the airport.

capo is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 09:24 AM
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The airport is at the western end of the promenade, just 2 or 3 miles from the city center.
Absurd is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 10:01 AM
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The hotel Flot D'Azure (my spelling may be off)is mentioned often here for Nice. Also, someone else just posted about getting the Hotel West End for 100e/nite on Expedia I think.

I highly recommend visiting the Ephrussie Villa & gardens in Cap Ferrat while you're there. Very picturesque.

BTW, you might wind up with a better price for the car renting from a location in Nice rather than at the airport.
mclaurie is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 10:19 AM
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McLaurie makes a good point. The one time I picked up a car at the Nice airport (through Autoeurope/Europcar), I don't recall there being an airport surcharge, but there may have been.

You could check into picking up your car in central Nice, and then returning it to the airport (I'm presuming you'll be flying out of Nice as well.)

There's a Europcar office in central Nice, only a block from the Promenade des Anglais, across from the Jardin Albert I, close to where the "5" is on the map below.

http://www.ehi.com/travel/ehi/france/hot_map6.html

capo is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 10:54 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the helpful replies and hotel tips.
The only reason I am picking up the car at the airport is because I need an automatic, and the only agency I have found with a compact automatic is withNational/Citer.They seem to have agencies only at airports.
Or am I wrong?
If I am , then picking up a car in Nice itself makes a whole lot of sense.
sirod is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 11:44 AM
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Interesting, sirod. I'd think Europcar would have some automatics but maybe not.

If you want an automatic, and that's the only rental agency you found with one, then I guess you'll have to go with the airport location for pickup and drop-off.

By the way, I just came across this nice photo from an airplane which gives you a sense of the airport location vis-a-vis Nice. If you follow the rightmost runway, it points almost directly at Vieux Nice, the old town. The peninsula past that is Mt. Boron; tucked away behind that peninsula is Villefranche; and the peninsula that juts way out into the water is Cap Ferrat.

http://www.alpix.com/nice/pictures/nice00.jpg
capo is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 12:21 PM
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Thanks, Capo!
sirod is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 12:35 PM
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Petit Palais--top of hill looking over Nice and water.
weaverm is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 03:13 PM
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Sirod, you might want to check with autoeurope. On the website they list a bunch of different locations for pickup (& return)in Nice besides the airport (3 at the train station & 2-3 city center) and they did have a compact automatic at one of these but I can't remember which one! Maybe you would be better phoning them at 888-223-5555 rather than playing around with all the locations on the internet site.
mclaurie is offline  
May 2nd, 2003, 06:11 AM
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Thank so much Mclaurie. You are absolutely, right, I found a car at autoEurope that is cheaper than National and that I can pick uyp in the city.
One final question, as I have never rented in Europe before, is it better to rent cars far in advance or to wait for deals closer to the pick-up date?
sirod is offline  
May 2nd, 2003, 10:38 AM
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No need for a car in Nice, we were there for 10 days last year and only took a cab from/to the airport everywhere in Nice we walked to and took the train on day trips.

The hotel Gounoud is a nice hotel and would probably fit into your budget, they are about 5 blocks from the water and have a very nice hot breakfast buffet every morning. Also in the same area is the Bryce Tulip Inn which is very affordable and the Windsor which is the nicest but also most expensive of the 3.
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May 2nd, 2003, 10:45 AM
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One of the best places I've ever been was St. Paul de Vence. It's a little artsy village up in the hills above Nice. I don't remember the exact time/distance, but we went in a public bus. It really is a don't miss.!!!
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May 2nd, 2003, 11:45 AM
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Sirod, I don't really know the answer to your last question. In general, people have found autoeurope to have the best prices. Since you want something very specific (automatic compact IN Nice) and August is the busiest time in the south of France, my inclination would be to book NOW. You might want to continue to check rates as time grows closer. I think you could cancel this reservation within a certain time frame if you find a better deal. (Doublecheck this when you reserve)

I would also doublecheck Capo's suggestion of Europcar (not sure if it's different than autoeurope). I hope you understand autoeurope is a "broker"-not the name of a rental car company. They will be sending you to one of the regular car rental places. They just seem to give better rates than if you go direct to the rental car companies themselves.

BTW, I agree with Julieanne's recommendation to visit St Paul de Vence. It is in the direction of St. Tropez (west) but is a bit off your route because it's also north, in the hills. I would suggest you try to make a stop there when you leave Nice on your way to St Tropez. Get yourself a good road map before you go & try to mark out the route. The drive to St Tropez can be long. I attempted to do it on the Bas Corniche (N98-the coast road) but got lost around Frejus coming and going! I think it's probably faster & better to go on the Moyenne Corniche (A8)to Le Muy and then down the D25 to Ste Maxine. Good luck and have a great trip!
mclaurie is offline  
May 2nd, 2003, 12:01 PM
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McLaurie, I only mentioned Europcar because that's the actual car rental company I've always ended up using in Nice, when I've booked through Autoeurope which, as you correctly point out, is a broker.

Sirod, I'd say the same thing as McLaurie. Since you specifically want an automatic, it might be best to reserve one ahead of time. You could, of course, always wait, hoping for a better deal on price but you might risk not being able to get an automatic at a later date and I'm also not sure any potential deals at a later date -- especially through Autoeurope -- are going to be significantly less expensive.

capo is offline  
May 2nd, 2003, 12:28 PM
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Okay, thanks to everyone,you have all been a big help ! I will book sooner rather than later!
BTW, Hotel Flots d'Azur looks quite good. Am just waiting to finally decide whether to stay there overnight or to make a day trip from St. Tropez area . St. Paul de Vence seems to be on everyone's list as a must see....why not!
sirod is offline  
May 2nd, 2003, 12:39 PM
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St.Paul de Vence is indeed very nice, but try to go there early or late in the day to avoid the tourist thongs. Er, sorry, I mean throngs; the tourist thongs would be on the beach in Nice.
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May 2nd, 2003, 12:50 PM
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Sirod, you haven't asked but I would NOT recommend a day trip from St Tropez to Nice. I did it (in reverse). I hated it. I was exhausted from driving, didn't get to see very much and I did it in February with minimal traffic. If cost is a concern, find a cheaper hotel. Stay in Nice for at least 1 day (or try one of the hotels in Villefranche, the Welcome or the Flore-also very close to the airport & public transportation).

I agree with Capo about going very early or late to St Paul. That's why I was suggesting going on your way to St Tropez. Figured you'd leave early am from Nice. St Paul is about a 30-40 drive & gives you a chance to get used to the car, driving there etc.
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